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Balanced scoring leads New Ulm girls

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello New Ulm’s Daviney Dreckman drives to the basket during the second half against St. James Friday at New Ulm High School.

NEW ULM — New Ulm had four players score in double figures as the Eagles defeated St. James Area 71-56 on Friday in a Big South Conference girls’ basketball game. New Ulm snapped a two-game losing streak with the victory.

Hannah Osborne led all scorers with 21 points, six assists and four steals. Kirsten Dennis added 16 points, Bryn Nesvold had 15 points and 10 rebounds. and Olivia Wick had 12 points and six rebounds.

“We had a lot better composure tonight,” New Ulm head coach Brian Batt said. “We had a few mistakes and the girls did a good job with the zone (defense) and we were positive and confident.”

Batt noted the Eagles had a game plan. New Ulm made some second-half adjustments and executed the plan well for the balance of the contest. The Eagles used a half-court double-team defense that gave SJA fits. New Ulm rebounded well in the second half and its confidence shined with the ball dropping into the hoop.

Chloe Mickelson was a case in point. She hit four 3-pointers in the first half, but the Eagle defense shut her down and held her to only one 3-pointer in the second half.

Osborne scored a basket to open the second half to tie it at 31-31. Nesvold scored two baskets and Dennis scored for a 38-31 Eagle lead.

Jaelyn Haler hit a 3-pointer to bring the Saints within 5 points. Mickelson and Taylor Sodeman each made 3-pointers, Kelsey Grunewald scored and Haler canned a 3-pointer and scored on a fastbreak layup, making it 53-52 New Ulm with 7:47 left in the game.

Wick scored an inside basket. Nesvold and Dennis 3-pointers. Dennis scored a fastbreak layup. Osborne scored a basket. Daviney Dreckman scored 4 of her 6 points on consecutive baskets.

SJA hit a 7-minute scoring drought which ended when the Saints scored the final 4 points of the contest.

The first half featured the Saints playing relatively even with the Eagles. There were three ties and four lead changes.

Mickelson hit two 3-pointers and Grunewald scored for a 28-15 SJA lead with 6 minutes remaining in the first half.

The Eagles chipped away and regained the lead on a Wick basket. Sodeman’s 3-pointer made the score 31-29 SJA at halftime.

New Ulm (4-6, 2-3) will play at Kasson-Mantorville on Saturday.

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